July 8, 2021


            On our kayak float yesterday on the Wood River, I occasionally watched the small whirlpools started by Delycia’s paddles just ahead of me, and it got me thinking about the mysterious whirlpool I call ‘my life’. This life I’m living is not the solid, separate ‘event’ it so often seems to be.  As I watched a whirlpool swirling around beside my kayak, it seemed like the perfect symbol of the endlessly revolving movement of what I call ‘my life’. What is labeled ‘Hamilton Salsich’ is actually a continuously transforming swirl in the shoreless river of life. I seem to be a separate and self-governing individual, but in truth, I am a fluidly spinning twirl in a universe that knows precisely what it’s doing and where it’s going.  I need to simply slacken and loosen and learn to appreciate the marvelous  circles and spins life does with me as I swivel around in a river that’s infinitely more amazing than the scenic Wood River.


Whenever you see a dish 
with crackers and cheese,
listen for a robin's voice. 
Whenever you hear an airplane
looking for its home, 
listen for the songs 
your heart sings. 
Whenever you hear the highway
saying its prayers in the distance,
look up 
and see your life arriving 
like a new friend. 


And here are some scenes from yesterday’s kayak float …


            Sometimes, sitting in an airplane window seat at night above a brightly lit city, I’ve thought of what almost seems like another shining city, the city of my own life. Now and then, when I’m able to see my life from a distance, it seems to be lit-up with lights of all kinds. Close up, my life often seems under-lit, cluttered, and somewhat chaotic, but, when I stand way back, it looks like there’s serenity and a sort of luster in my hours and days. All the people, for instance, who come and go through my life are shining with their own hopes and worries – the shimmering lights of optimism as well as the pale lights of unease and sorrow. From a distance, the events in my life also seem to be sparkling in countless hues as they pass through my days and disappear. Some good, some bad, some just tedious – all the large and small episodes in my days, when I observe them from far off, seem to shine in their various ways. Somehow they all seem more effulgent than harmful, full of more brightness than distress. I sometimes pretend I’m on a mountaintop looking down at the valleys and hills of my life, and I realize, again, that this life of mine, this grand gift I was given 78 years ago, is indeed, a shining city for me, a spectacle of lights like I might see from a night sky over New York.  

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Mystic and Mystic Seaport, from a distance across the Mystic River …

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We took our morning walk today in Elm Grove Cemetery in Mystic, about 2.4 miles. It was inspiring, as usual, to be among the imposing, almost ceremonious trees, and to occasionally get a view from a distance, with the sun rising among clouds and brightening the stately gravestones.

Elm Grove Cemetery this morning

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A poem by William Wordsworth …